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Super Kid Supplements
Wondering if your kids are eating well and getting the nutrients they need to promote overall health and wellness? Good nutrition and a few supplements pack a powerful punch in the fight for better health and best school performance.
It is important for kids to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, organic dairy products, beans and legumes, as well as, nuts and seeds. Take a quick glance at your child’s plate and make sure they are having a variety of the above mentioned foods. Try to minimize “white” food items such as rice, pasta, potatoes, flour and sugar. These tend to be devoid of valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber that are essential for healthy growth and development. If these “white” food items make up a large portion of your child’s meals or snacks start to switch to healthier options. Use whole wheat, brown rice or spelt pasta, brown rice, whole grain flours and sweet potatoes, and work towards lowering the sugar content by avoiding refined sugars and treats such as cookies, candies and chocolate bars.
I try to teach my patients to “eat the rainbow” meaning they eat a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables every day. If your little ones are reluctant to dive into the fruit or veggie platter here are a few simple tips to encourage them to eat more of these nutritious foods. Ask them to eat as many pieces as how old they are. Cut the pieces into fun and exciting shapes, or feed them in stages with the fruit or veggies coming first while they are most hungry.
Even if your child eats really well there are a few basic supplements that are important for healthy childhood development and can be deficient in our little ones. A good quality multi-vitamin will make sure your child is getting all basic vitamins and minerals. This will contain a good dose of vitamin C and D as well as zinc, to help support a strong immune system. They also contain B vitamins that enhance energy levels, support healthy blood cell development and support the nervous system. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus are also included for healthy bone and teeth development. A multi-vitamin is not a replacement for healthy dietary choices, it provides you with low doses of basic nutrients so if one day you are missing something from your diet, you are covered, but the key is to eat well everyday!
Omega-3 Fish Oil for Brain Dynamism
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are important for brain development, mental focus and a balanced mood. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that are so important in kids with eczema, asthma, allergies, and chronic infections such as ear or throat infections. Most people (kids included!) are deficient in omega-3’s; so, supplementation with a high quality fish or vegan algae oil is key. Some foods high in omega-3’s are flax or hemp seed oils, walnuts, and fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring).
Avenge Tummy Troubles
Healthy gut flora that resides in our digestive tracts are paramount in supporting a healthy digestive system and overall immune function. A high quality probiotic will not only ensure bowel regularity, but will help to keep your little one’s immune systems healthy and strong all year round. If your child has a history or recent use of antibiotics then you definitely want to add a probiotic to their diet to help restore the friendly bacteria. Research also supports probiotics use to: lessen the duration of gastroenteritis, decrease antibiotic induced diarrhea, as well as support those with eczema and allergies.
Rachel Schwartzman is a board certified naturopathic doctor practicing in Toronto. She has a general family practice with a special interest in women’s health, fertility, pregnancy and pediatrics. When not practicing she spends time with her three young children, playing tennis, and creating healthy dishes for her family. Visit: www.rachelschwartzman.com